Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine January 2019 - Page 410

MONTSERRAT Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory INTERVIEW with Mrs. Rosetta West-Gerald Product Development Officer, Montserrat Tourism Division What is Montserrat’s Tourism Brand? Montserrat’s Tourism Brand is that of a private hideaway, authentic, peaceful , safe and unhurried with luxury affordable accommodation. The logo portrays the shamrock, one of our national symbols, in a mix of vibrant colours, reminiscent of the island from the bright blue of the sky and deep blue of the sea, to the emerald green of our mountains to the vibrant orange of the sunset. This is coupled with our tagline “Come, we have time for you.” What are your island’s unique selling points? Montserrat’s Unique Selling Points include the island’s Soufriere Hills Volcano which resulted in our buried city of Plymouth …a ‘Modern Day Pompeii;’ our verdant forests, friendly people, seclusion and safety. Montserrat also boasts a number of world class hiking trails, birding and good diving, alongside our ever-popular St. Patrick’s Festival. What key elements of your country would you say is most attractive to visitors? The most attractive elements of Montserrat for visitors are the buried city of Plymouth to which tours are conducted. Here, visitors are able to witness a town literally frozen in time. They are able to walk on buildings and other areas that are buried more than 30ft deep in some cases – truly amazing! Another attractive element is the island’s St. Patrick’s Festival which is held over 10 days in March. In 2019 the Festival will be from 8th to 18th March. This Event is packed with a unique blend of activities which showcases our Afro-Irish Heritage to include pub crawl, slave feast, parade, pageant and much more activities. It is also at this time that persons would be decked out in green, symbolizing our Irish Heritage or in African print, symbolizing our African Heritage. Montserrat is the only island outside of Ireland which has St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, as a National Holiday. What are some of the niche activities and events Montserrat offers to its visitors. Niche activities that are being offered include volcano viewing, hiking, birding, diving, festivals including the St. Patrick’s Festival. How has your country’s tourism focus evolved over the years? Montserrat’s tourism product has always been nature- based due to the island’s topography and verdure, this has not changed much. Prior to the volcano which